Big Island Pizza Napoletana – 9/22/2011

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There are few opportunities to eat a meal in Kaloko Industrial Park – the most obvious one being the big box shopping mecca of West Hawaii.  Hordes of Costco shoppers line up daily to eat bargain-basement meals at the snackbar – particularly the pizza slice with drink for less than what it normally costs to make.  I am certainly not kiboshing the experience of eating fundamental pizza, (the size of a tire on my SUV), or those colossal hotdogs and goliath sized sodas  for $1.50.  With today’s economy moving in an ominous direction, I’ll bet the lineup at those windows will resemble queues for a popular amusement park ride.

 

If you eventually get annoyed with all that doughy filler, venture mauka from Costco’s  parking lot to the Big Island Pizza Napoletano.  The owners (wisely) assumed  the former Zacchini’s Pizzeria lease  and inherited the impressive oven that prior owner, Barbara Zacchini (R.I.P, Barbara), brought in for her dream restaurant.  A great concept for Kona, and well received, Zacchini’s sadly closed due to the former owner’s untimely illness. Many customers missed  those great pizzas, and the convenience of having good food right down the hill from upcountry Kona. 

 

Also located in Hilo, Big Island Pizza offers many items such as Flatbreads with assorted toppings, Wraps, Subs, and Hot Sandwiches, besides the tasty pizzas and calzones. 

 

Carolyn, Mei and I shared a Spinach Salad ($8.75), with fresh spinach, hard boiled eggs, sliced mushrooms, crumbled bacon (the real stuff), sliced red onions, grape tomatoes, shredded mozzarella and Honey Mustard Dressing.  It was large, and we could not finish it because we also ordered two pizzas (!) @ $17 each for the 12” size.

 

Pizza #1:  Spicy Arugula with medium crust – home style marinara sauce, red pepper oil, salami, arugula and mozzarella.  True to it ‘s name, it WAS a bit fiery!  The medium crust was perfect in that the dough did not overwhelm the toppings. 

 

Pizza #2:  Spinach Pesto – Mozzarella, Italian sausage, spinach, feta, mushrooms, rosemary, pine nuts on Pesto Sauce.  Very flavorful, with a hint of pine nut and rosemary – not overpowering.  The medium crust, again, was baked perfectly.

 

No one in their right mind likes to leave pizza on the tray.  Frankly,  I have always stuffed that last piece down my throat just because I couldn’t stand the thought of taking it home or worse – leaving it there.     Because we had five  surplus slices and salad , our  waiter thoughtfully brought us two  take out boxes.  

 

Many have remarked, “…what’s the big deal??  Pizza is pizza…”.  Well if you’re standing in line at Costco, I would tend to agree.  However, if you feel like sitting down in a casual, but cozy establishment, and sharing (or not!) food with flavor that hits you between the eyes – then Big Island Pizza Napoletana is for you!  The staff is friendly and attentive; it’s air conditioned; lots of parking available; beer and wine available; and great menu.  So what the *#$%& are you waiting for??

 

I will return this weekend to emancipate myself from the kitchen and pick up a couple of NY Reubens on Rye –  which I’ve heard are fantastic –  baked in that oven! 

 

333-3400 for take out

M-F 11-8

73-5618 Maiau St (above Costco)

http://bipnapoletana.com/


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6 responses »

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  3. They seem to imply this is Pizza Napoletana…. And they have the right oven thy just don’t know how to use it. I ordered the four cheese, add Black olives and Anchovies. THERE WERE NO OLIVES ON THE PIE BUT THERE WERE ON THE BILL… For that matter there was no Sauce… I mentioned this to the Piazolo who said there was sauce just not enough to see it… couldn’t taste it ether though…I also ordered the Margarita (marginally assembled and uninspiring). The Caesar salad was piss poor at best Very dry like there pizza. The service was good though there was a large gentleman who seemed to be in charge, He never came near the table but he seemed very unfriendly, even seemed to glare in our direction a time or two.

    THE MAIN ISSUE IS THEY ARE NOT USING THE RIGHT TYPE OF DOUGH OR PREPARATION FOR A NAPOLETANA…

    My friend took the left over Margarita home but I left half the other pie on the table not worth bringing home. Where I make better Napoleon in my modified charcoal barbecue…

    • wow chef Teo! so sorry for your unpleasant experience! they must have gone down hill since my last excursion. I have since enjoyed the pizzas at Bianelli’s take out window at Matsuyama Store in Kalaoa (across from Ka’iminani Drive – Kona Palisades) and will try to find time to write about it. You should share with the chef at Pizza Napoletana the correct way to prepare the pizza. They bought the eatery from the former owner who was from Boston and it was called Zacchini’s Pizza. She did a great job and modeled the pizzeria after her family’s place in Boston. When Napoletana opened, they were pretty good, judging from the packed restaurant. I have since been in there and I am not sure how they stay open because it’s not full of people, unless I dropped in during a slow period. I still say it’s better than Costco’s pizza however as it’s not so doughy. thanks for reading and also putting your comments down for us!

      • The pizza was way better than Costco. But below expectations…
        It simply was a disappointment because I dont think they know what there name implies (Napoletana is sacred don’t say it if you can’t bring it). Not withstanding that I did. Ot get what I ordered.

        mozzarella, tomatoes and basil salad
        English definition | English synonyms | in Spanish | conjugator | in context | images

  4. This restaurant is a treasure and a surprise. The food was unbelievable, the staff friendly and charming- at one point picking up an ukulele to play along to a song on the speakers. They looked to enjoy tossing the pizza crust with obvious skills. The prices are great, the food better than that, the atmosphere cozy and enjoyable. Loved it.

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